native plant-themed fabric and giftwrap

I’ve been playing.

In the darkness of late December I started to think about spring and the plants and flowers that were just a few months away. I’d recently started spending some time at the Spoonflower site where you can upload your own designs for fabric, wallpaper, giftwrap and decal. What kinds of patterns could I make out of my old photos of California native plants?

Here are a few I came up with, and there are a few variants up at eventually I’ll add a few more as time and life permit.

I’ve put these designs up at a little storefront at the Spoonflower site. The cost of these one-off custom prints is steep compared to paper and fabric produced in quantity overseas, but you’re welcome to use these designs if you’d like to make a special pillow or wrap up a special package. And if you do that Spoonflower sends me a little kickback that I can apply to future design and printing projects.

California Bush Anemone (Carpenteria californica) on Periwinkle
California Bush Anemone-Modern on Periwinkle

California Bush Anemone (Carpenteria californica) on Black
California Bush Anemone-Modern on Black

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), version 1
Hummingbird Sage-Monochrome on Yellow

Hummingbird Sage (Salvia spathacea), version 2
Hummingbird Sage-Natural Colors on Magenta Pink

Fort Miller Clarkia (Clarkia williamsonii)
Fort Miller Clarkia

Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta), Medium Size–Sepia
Chalk dudleya-Medium size, sepia

Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta), Big Print, Graphic and Gray
Chalk dudleya-Big print, graphic and gray

Chalk Dudleya (Dudleya pulverulenta), Big Print, Natural Colors
Chalk dudleya-Big print, natural


9 thoughts on “native plant-themed fabric and giftwrap”

  1. James, These are gorgeous! My favorites are the Fort Miller Clarkia and the Chalk Dudleya in the natural colors. Next year, after I’m retired from teaching, I’m going to make some time to play with fabrics and go back to sewing. I hope to come back at that point and buy one of these beautiful prints to make something special from.

    1. Jean, nice to hear from you, and thank you very much for the comments! I tried my hand at sewing myself last year and one of the frustrations was finding fabric I liked–and so a side project of designing it myself was born! Once you have more time, sewing should be a nice winter activity to counter the gardening you can’t take part in.

  2. These are great! I think you may have found a new calling! I could envision an entire fabric store full of native plant-themed fabrics . . . or an entire clothing store full of clothes made from native plant-themed fabrics. And why not throw in some housewares – tablecloths, curtains, wallpapers . . . there could be no end to the native plant obsession. And then of course we would all end up broke. But we’d be broke in such interestingly decorated houses!

    1. Gayle, nice to hear from you! It’s a bit of work to do but it’s enjoyable. This is definitely a specialist’s niche market, considering only maybe 3% of the earth is a mediterranean climate and California is only a fraction of that. But a great plant or great flower is that no matter where you live.

      Ricki, so you designed fabrics at some point? Cool! I’m only scraping the surface but it gets complicated fast…matters of scale, color correction for paper versus fabric, resolution…

  3. This takes me back to my early days designing gift wrap. I’m loving your versions, unconstrained by the demands of commerce. I may have to order up some of that last one.

  4. They are wonderful. Such a unusual but fantastic idea! Wrapping paper is quite drab, vanilla and utilitarian these days would be wonderful to get a few rolls of your favorite designs printed up.

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